As a leader it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to develop your strengths and also seek jobs and tasks that play to what you are good at and are naturally inclined to enjoy.
This week I worked through Marcus Buckingham’s Standout: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment, and took the online strength assessment. Buckingham has identified nine strength roles which are: Advisor, Connector, Creator, Equalizer, Influencer, Pioneer, Provider, Stimulator, and Teacher. My two main strength roles were Influencer and Provider, stating that the greatest value I can bring to a team is “you convince us of our faith in ourselves.” I tend to agree with this assessment, and I also scored high as a pioneer and connector which have also been key tasks, functions, and enjoyable roles I have taken part in over the last years. I enjoy motivating people to action, joining a team, or taking part of a mission. I enjoy thinking about and casting vision to others, and working in teams and with individuals to get them from point A to point B. At the same time, I tend to have high sensitivity to other people’s feelings and how they perceive group dynamics. I often find myself asking the question, “is everyone ok?” I want my co-workers to feel valued and part of the team, and most of all be in good emotional health.
What is most valuable about Buckingham’s book and assessment is his stress on how to maximize your strengths. He states: “the responsibility falls to you to apply your strengths consciously every day,” otherwise, you can get pulled away from your natural strengths and into jobs and positions which can be draining (200).
Buckingham makes a number of suggestions on how to stress your strengths in your working situation. For my skills, which are very subjectively people oriented, my biggest takeaway from the assessment was my need to connect more on a day to day basis with the people I am leading and ministering to. Recently, in my current job position, I have been spending a lot of time in administration and planning, but less and less time really attempting to address the real personal issues of the people. Buckingham’s assessment calls me to begin to prioritize people again, and above all their feelings, heart, and well-being as humans, but also in their role in our movement. For me this means making a concerted effort to really address people where they are and schedule specific time to be with and interact with people. Moreover, as an influencer I need to be with people.
What are your gifts and strengths, how can you maximize them for the glory of God?
Take some time to do an assessment and work on finding opportunities to utilize your strengths.